With a $3 million option bonus looming, the New England Patriots chose to release receiver Brandon Lloyd.
Yesterday, there was momentum building that the New England Patriots and Brandon Lloyd would agree to a restructured contract. Apparently, those talks didn't work out. With a 4:00 PM deadline looming before a $3 million roster bonus was due, the New England Patriots released wide receiver Brandon Lloyd:
The Patriots will release Brandon Lloyd, according to a source.— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) March 16, 2013
The move, while not a surprise, is disappointing. I wouldn't completely rule out the Patriots bringing back Lloyd on the cheap if he can't find anything on the open market, but I think he'll look elsewhere first.
The move also makes finding a starting caliber receiver all the more important. A combination of Donald Jones and Danny Amendola simply will not suffice. If I were a betting man, I'd say that the Patriots sign Emmanuel Sanders to an offer sheet in the coming days. While they did not do so by the waiver deadline today, they could still do so tomorrow.
As for Lloyd's tenure with the Patriots, I thought it was a bit underrated. Lloyd did attract some attention deep, and he really did seem to come up with an eye popping catch at least once a game. It also seemed that down the stretch, he really did begin to develop solid chemistry with quarterback Tom Brady. While his numbers weren't terrific, they also weren't very far off from where most expected them to be.